The Politics of Needs and Sustainability Education

Authored by: Lesley Le grange

International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415892384
eBook ISBN: 9780203813331
Adobe ISBN: 9781136699313

10.4324/9780203813331.ch13

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Abstract

The term “sustainability” was first used in eighteenth-century German forestry management practices. However, according to the 1986 supplement of the Oxford English Dictionary, in English the use of the word “sustainability” dates from only 1972. The construct “sustainability” was introduced into popular discourse by the Brundtland Commission Report (World Commission on Environment and Development [WCED], 1987). It defined sustainable development as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987). As an adjective, sustainability has been combined with varied entities such as yields of renewable natural resources, crop yields, agricultural practices, development, ecosystems, communities, societies, living, and even the entire planet (Wensveen, 2001). In this chapter I shall use the terms “sustainability” and “sustainable development” interchangeably.

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